Metropolitan Opera comes to Wichita

The Louise C. Murdock Theatre has now joined a host of other cities across the country that are presenting live Metropolitan Opera performances via satellite. Here are the details you need to know:

1) Saturday will be the first Met performance shown at the theater, but it is the final opera in the Met's 2009-2010 season. The new season will begin next fall, and will feature 11 live transmissions from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

2) Saturday's opera will be Rossini's "Armida," starring superstar soprano Renee Fleming in the title role. The opera is based on Torquato Tasso's "Gerusalemme Liberata," a story about the Crusades. The role of Armida is the only female one in the opera.

3) This is the first time that one of the Metropolitan Opera's live, high-definition transmissions will be screened in Wichita; prior to coming to Louise C. Murdock Theatre, the nearest venue was in Topeka.

4) Hosts of the shows conduct live interviews with cast and crew members and introduce behind-the-scenes features. Audiences get a close-up look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world's great houses.

Tickets to " Armida" are $18, or $12 for students. The performance begins at noon Saturday in the Louise C. Murdock Theatre, 20th Century Center, 536 N. Broadway. For more information, go to www.murdocktheatre.com or call 316-263-1665.